These vegan lentil meatballs make for the perfect party dish or complement to spaghetti. Served along with a flavorful marinara sauce, they make for a delicious, filling meal.
Not only are these vegan meatballs tasty—but they’re easy to make too! And they’re even better than store bought vegan meatballs!
To make them, all you do is mix the ingredients together, form them into balls, stick them in the fridge to set, and then fry them up. It’s really that simple! And the lentils give them that perfect texture—plus they taste amazing with the fragrant marinara sauce.
These vegan lentil meatballs are:
- Italian-inspired cuisine
- ready in 40 minutes
- a delicious meal or party food
How to Make Vegan Lentil Meatballs
- Start by making the vegan lentil meatballs.
- Place a non-stick skillet on the stovetop, and add a tablespoon of oil or water.
- Once the oil is hot, add the shallots and garlic and sauté.
- Remove the skillet from the heat, and let it cool down.
- In a large bowl, add the lentils, oats, tomato, tomato paste, celery, dried thyme, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt, and pepper.
- Combine the ingredients with your hands—but don’t overmix it.
- A textured dough will form.
- Taste and adjust the flavor as needed.
- If the dough is too wet, add some more oats.
- Form the dough into small balls using your hands.
- Place the balls on a plate, and put them in the refrigerator to set.
- While these are setting, you can start on the marinara sauce.
- Place a pot on the stove and add oil and garlic.
- Sauté the garlic, stirring frequently.
- Add the dried oregano, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Sauté.
- Add the tomatoes, salt, and sugar to the pot and stir.
- Simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally.
- Taste the sauce, and adjust the flavor as needed before removing from the heat.
- Once the vegan lentil meatballs have set, take the pan you used earlier and add the rest of the oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add the vegan lentil meatballs and sauté until each side is golden brown.
- Transfer the vegan meatballs to a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
- Then, they’re ready to be served! They can be dipped in the marinara sauce, or they can be added to a pasta for a delicious spaghetti and vegan meatballs meal.
Scroll down for the full recipe with measurements and detailed instructions.
Tips & Tricks
You can store these vegan lentil meatballs in the fridge for 4 days or freeze them for 1 month. Just put them in the fridge overnight to thaw!
Coconut Cream Curry
Instead of making spaghetti and meatballs, you can easily make a coconut cream curry to go with your vegan meatballs and rice.
Just make a couple little changes to the spices. Instead of celery, thyme, cayenne pepper in your vegan meatballs, you can add coriander and ginger.
To give these vegan lentil meatballs a Mediterranean flavor, switch out the celery, thyme, cayenne pepper, and cumin for cinnamon, all spice, and nutmeg.
FAQs About Vegan Lentil Meatballs
What are vegan meatballs made of?
Typically, you can find vegan meatballs made out of soy, tofu, or lentils. This vegan lentil meatball recipe is especially delicious though because it’s packed with spices and herbs that make them extra flavorful.
- 14 oz canned lentils 400g, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup Oats
- 1 Italian peeled tomato or 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 small shallot diced
- 3 garlic cloves chopped
- ¼ cup celery chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 tablespoon tablespoons oil divided, or water
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ tablespoon cumin powder optional
- pinch salt
- pinch pepper
For Marina Sauce
- Heat a pot over medium - low heat. Once hot, add oil and garlic, sauté for 30 seconds stirring frequently then add herbs and red pepper flakes. Sauté for about 10 seconds.
- Add tomatoes, sugar and salt. Stir and bring to a simmer on medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes by stirring occasionally.
- Taste and adjust as needed. Remove from heat.
- Heat a non stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 tablespoon oil (or water), shallot and garlic. Sauté for 2 - 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Let it cool down (reserve your pan for the vegballs).
- In a big bowl, add all ingredients except the remaining oil. Combine with your hands (don't overmix) until a textured dough forms. Taste and adjust flavor as needed.
- If dough is too wet, add a bit more oats.
- Gently form small balls using your hands. Add to a plate and store in refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, heat the pan you used earlier with 2 tablespoons oil. Once hot, add the vegballs and sauté until each side are golden brown. Transfer on kitchen paper to absorb the excess of oil.
- The vegballs can be served as it is with dips or you can add some marinara sauce. If you want as lunch or dinner, they are delicious on pasta.